Graduate research journey
As a research student at UTS, you will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills, engage in our research community, contribute to knowledge in your chosen discipline, and ultimately make an impact to community, industry and society.
Graduate Research Education Framework
Graduate research programs at UTS are guided by the Graduate Research Education Framework (GREF).
The UTS GREF is a university-wide initiative that involves Faculties, research centres and the GRS. The framework has two main aims:
- to support the advancement of knowledge through original graduate research, and
- to develop the graduate research student as a researcher prepared for a career in academia or industry.
This framework articulates the support students receive and are expected to engage with while undertaking a graduate research degree at UTS.
The UTS Graduate Research Education Framework:
- Involves a panel of supervisors;
- Is guided by a Graduate Research Study Plan (GRSP);
- Comprises three formal candidature stages including assessment;
- Is monitored annually through a Review of Progress (ROP);
- Includes mandatory and optional training components;
- Involves undertaking a program of research that adheres to research management best practice;
- Culminates with the submission of a final thesis for examination;
- Provides a supportive Research Environment.
A Graduate Research Study Plan (GRSP) is a structured agreement between you and your supervisor. It articulates the goals and planned progression of your research, as well as your resource, knowledge and skills development needs.
You must complete an initial GRSP in consultation with your supervisor within the first two weeks of enrolling at UTS. When completing, you'll need to reference the Managing and Progressing a Research Career (MAPARC) framework, which will guide your skills development throughout your candidature. You’ll also need to revisit your GRSP at each stage of your candidature to ensure that it remains an accurate reflection of your research aspirations.
The GRSP is an online form in ResearchMaster and can be accessed here, along with help guides.
Stages of candidature
Your research program will be divided into three stages:
- Stage 1: Confirmation of candidature
- Stage 2: Confirmation of advanced progress
- Stage 3: Confirmation of readiness to submit your thesis for examination.
Each stage must be completed with a designated timeline, depending on your degree type and whether you’re studying full-time.
Detailed information on stages of candidature and stage assessments can be found on the candidature progression page.
Annually each student’s progress is monitored through a Review of Progress (ROP), which is an online form jointly completed by the student and supervisor. This process provides a formal review of the student’s progress against their proposed research and development goals, and completion timeframe.
Students will receive one of three possible results:
- Conceded Satisfactory
Students who receive an unsatisfactory result may have their candidature discontinued.
The appeals process
If a student does not agree with a Conceded Satisfactory outcome, they can lodge an appeal with the Faculty RAO within five working days of receiving their result. An appeal can only be lodged on the grounds of procedural irregularities that are likely to have had a significant negative impact in the student’s results.
If a student does not agree with an Unsatisfactory outcome, they can lodge an appeal with Dean of the Graduate Research School within 10 working days of receiving their result. An appeal can only be lodged on the grounds of procedural irregularities that are likely to have had a significant negative impact in the student’s results.
As a research student at UTS, you will develop an original thesis that makes a contribution to knowledge in your chosen discipline.
There are three types of thesis that will be considered for submission at UTS:
- A conventional thesis
- A thesis by compilation
- A thesis by artefact, exhibition, portfolio or creative work.
Maximum time to complete (EFTSL)
The Department of Education sets a maximum time to complete for all graduate research degrees and is determined by a measurement called EFTSL (Equivalent Full Time Student Load). That means you must complete your degree within the following timeframes:
- Doctoral degrees:
4 years full-time or 8 years part-time
- Master’s by research:
2 years full-time or 4 years part-time.
For more information on the maximum time to complete, please refer to the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines.
When you start your research candidature, you’ll be given an Expected Work Submission (EWS) date. You’re expected to submit your completed thesis for examination on or before this date.
Your EWS falls within the maximum time to complete described above and is calculated based on a number of factors, including:
- the date you commenced your degree
- the standard student load of your course (EFTSL)
- your study rate (i.e. whether you’re part-time or full-time)
- the completion of any previous study (at UTS or elsewhere) that contributes to your current research
- consideration of any approved leaves of absence or candidature extensions you’ve been granted.
You can access your EWS via My Student Admin – please log in, select the ‘Subjects’ tab and then select the ‘Enrolment Periods’ option of your thesis subject.
For more information on the Graduate Research journey, please refer to the Graduate Research Candidature Management, Thesis Preparation and Submission Procedures.